Monthly Archives: April 2012

Social Media Policy: Best Buy

Best Buy’s social media policy has very good points along with some that I feel could be expanded on. You can find Best Buy’s social media policy here: http://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Welcome-News/Best-Buy-Social-Media-Policy/td-p/20492

I really like how this policy seems to be set aside from other employee policies. I think that by making this document separate from others it can serve as a better reference for employees. They will not have to search through the entire policy to find maybe one or two bullet points on social media. Also, social media is now such a large part of business the policy for it deserves to have its own in-depth document of rules and regulations.

A highlight that I see in this policy is that an employee should, “Disclose your affiliation: If you talk about work related matters that are within your area of job responsibility you must disclose your affiliation with Best Buy.” I feel this is particularly important because if a consumer reads what they think is a neutral third party giving a recommendation, it will be received differently than if it is an employee giving that recommendation.

Honestly, when I first saw this regulation I immediately thought of the PR stunt Wal-Mart did with the couple that would camp out in Wal-Mart’s parking lot. They would then give positive reviews on each Wal-Mart. They later came under fire when it was exposed that this couple was actually being compensated by Wal-Mart, which would clearly influence their reviews. If something like this doesn’t work offline it certainly will not be condoned online.

One “Don’t” that I felt was particular important in Best Buy’s policy was “Do not publish, post, or release information that is considered confidential or top secret.” Now, I feel like this would be kind of a no brainer. If you know something about the corporation that is confidential, like anything having to do with a legal situation, don’t talk about it on social media. It is called confidential for a reason.

I do wish that the policy was a little less broad. For example, if an employee at Best Buy posts on Facebook or on Twitter how much they love the new iPad, which Best Buy sells, without saying that they are an employee is that grounds for getting fired? Also, oftentimes on a Tweet there may not be room to say, “Oh, and I work for Best Buy.” Does that then have to go into your description on social media? Does anything you post about technology or even a CD that is sold at Best Buy need this disclosure?

In total, I feel that Best Buy is on the right track with their social media policy. The basic foundations are there but they are not very descriptive. There is still a lot of leeway between what an employee can and cannot do. Now, I know with any corporate policy it would be nice if it could be broken down into black and white but that just isn’t possible. I am not necessarily asking for that but a bit more description on each point couldn’t hurt, right?

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Guerilla PR/Marketing

I just had to write a blog about this. TNT is trying to launch its network in Belgium and the result is amazing guerilla PR.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I absolutely love stunts like these. I think they take such a large amount of creativity and not to mention an incredible amount of planning. According to tamebay.com, the first day this video went viral it had 5 million views and at the time of this post it had 16,576,103 views .It really shows how PR can be so creative in so many ways. When guerilla marketing works and makes this kind of an impact it’s a great thing!

In an article written by Jay Conrad Levinson, the man who coined the phrase “guerilla marketing”, says that this tactic is so successful because “it’s simple to understand, easy to implement and outrageously inexpensive.” He continues to say, “Guerrilla marketing is needed because it gives small businesses a delightfully unfair advantage: certainty in an uncertain world, economy in a high-priced world, simplicity in a complicated world, marketing awareness in a clueless world.”

An article on Mashable.com discusses 10 other guerilla marketing acts that they feel were excellent as one. One of these was a stunt by Absolut Vodka. In this stunt, a battered box containing one bottle of Absolut Vodka was released on a luggage carousel in an airport in Stockholm. On one flap of the box it says “Absolut Temptation.” This is a great location for a stunt like this since everyone with luggage has to wait there so it’s inevitable that this box would be seen! It also looked like some airport workers gave into their temptation and took the rest of the bottles out of the box. Here is the link to see it for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pqhhAIDKos

Another idea falling into this “Top 10” list comes from IKEA. This campaign titled “Everyday Fabulous” actually won them a Silver Effie Awards in 2007. What IKEA did in a nutshell was place unexpected items in familiar places all around New York City. For instance, they placed oven mitts on a subway train for travelers who are weary of dirty rails. They also changed a bus stop into a living room for commuters to relax in. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXXFNtnZTX8

What do all of you think about this tactic? Do you agree that it is a necessity as Levinson says?

Handling Negative Comments on Social Media

It’s a fact of life. Everyone will not agree on the same thing. Sadly enough, that goes for your brand as well. There will be people who love it and there will be some who either don’t care or feel the need to tell the world about how much they dislike it. It’s the latter that you need to be worried about. The people who post negative comments onto your Facebook page for millions of other users to see. One bad comment can start a chain reaction that could take your brand weeks, months or even years to overcome.

We’ve all seen it on other pages but what if it was on our brand’s page? Would you know what to do? From the numerous amounts of case studies on companies who have completely blundered up this situation, I’m going to guess the majority of us would say no.

Recently, I stumbled across an article on PRDaily.com outlining a few dos and don’ts of handling negative feedback on Facebook, even though these tips could include any social media site. Due to the incredible amount of SNAFUs on social media in spots like this, I felt the need to share this knowledge.

First of all, you should “respond no matter what.” Everyone’s opinion matters, even the opinions you don’t agree with.  Even if a consumer of your product didn’t like it, they were still a consumer once. No one wants another “Dell Hellon his or her hands. Even though this story is form 2005, it still proves just how important it is to answer no matter what!

Also remember to keep your reply simple. “According to Gini Deitrich from Spin Sucks, ‘There are four words that work really well online. They are, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘thank you.’” It is ok to fess up that you’re a human to your online community and that once a while, a mistake might be made. Imagine how much better you feel after a fight with a friend when one apologizes and the fight is over. This is the same concept.

The third tip was to contact all individuals privately after they have made a comment bashing your brand or product. After a negative experience, they want to feel special and know that someone who is genuinely interested is hearing them. If you’re not, you should be.

The fourth tip is to not delete any content unless policies are in place regarding what can be deleted. A few instances where it is appropriate to delete is when the content of the comment is racist, sexist, includes verbal abuse, uses inappropriate language, includes pornographic content or has explicit antagonistic behavior towards other members of the community.

 The final tip is to deflect the comment towards a more positive direction. “Laurel Papworth recommends you try to move away from the negative conversation and toward a more positive one. She says, ‘Thank the commenter, ask for more information and then bury them in talking. If there is more than one negative reviewer, try the ‘Thank you, oh look, something shiny!’ approach.’”

Do you think these tips are enough? What else could you do to avoid a social media distaster?